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Royal cremation of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej is set on October 26

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Royal Urn and Coffin reflect CENTURIES OF TRADITION

By Kupluthai Pungkanon 
The Nation 



The Sandalwood Royal Urn (Phra Kot Chan) and the Sandalwood Royal Coffin (Phra Heep Chan) of His Majesty King Bhumibol are displayed at the Throne Hall.


AS CONSTRUCTION preparing the Royal Crematorium for the Royal Cremation of His Majesty Bhumibol Adulyadej at the Sanam Luang ceremonial ground nears completion, huge crowds of mourners have flooded the Grand Palace.

They are there to pay their final respects to the late King at Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall, which this week was granted royal permission to open 24 hours daily until October 5. 


Visitors appear deeply touched upon viewing the meticulous craftsmanship of the great monarch’s Sandalwood Royal Urn (Phra Kot Chan) and Sandalwood Royal Coffin (Phra Heep Chan). 


Designed by artist Somporn Supaluck-ampaiporn of the Fine Art Department, the royal urn and coffin took over eight months of laborious attention to detail to complete. Both are made from fragrant dead-standing sandalwood trees taken from Kui Buri National Park in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province. The frameworks holding the wooden masterpieces are made of iron rods with wire mesh stretched between them. 


Pichit Nim-ngarm, a senior artist from the Office of Traditional Arts, says the assembly of so many tiny pieces of hand-carved wood on the framework creates a powerful three-dimensional image that deeply affects visitors. 


“According to the Brahman doctrine, a king is an avatar of the three mighty gods – Brahma, Shiva and Vishnu. As the word ‘Ramathibodi’ appears in his full name, King Bhumibol is upheld as avatar of Vishnu or Narayana,” explained Pichit.


“The sandalwood royal coffin hence features a total of over 30,000 pieces of hand-carved wood assembled together to create an exquisite design, featuring 24 patterns of intertwined sprays adorning 132 Garuda, Vishnu’s carrier. The statue of Garuda, decorated with gold leaves, will be placed on the third-layer base of the principal busabok,” he elaborated. 


“While the sandalwood royal urn is composed of three interlocking parts – the base, body and the top – assembled from a total of over 10,000 pieces of carved woods featuring 46 traditional Thai flower patterns adorning 64 Theppanom deities. The design of the top part is inspired by the crown of the King featuring three layers of topknot ornaments. Apart from these, both are decorated with craved golden bushes.”


Pichit expressed his appreciation to 20 artists and over 80 volunteers, who devoted their highly skilled craftmanship to help create this once-in-a-lifetime work. 


Since the Ayutthaya periods “Phra boroma kot” has referred to royal funeral urns used for kings and queens and ceremoniously encased with the royal remains. The octagonal royal funeral urn comprises two interlocking parts. The outer part, called “long”, is made of a gold-plated wooded frame adorned with gemstones and coloured glass pieces. The decoration varies according to the rank of the deceased.


The inner part is called “kot” and is made of plain gold-plated silver. This royal funeral urn will be carried by the palace bearers from the Grand Palace in the grand traditional procession to the Cremation Ground. The inner part of the Royal Urn will be removed and placed inside the sandalwood royal urn of His Majesty King Bhumibol. Then the sandalwood Royal Urn will be placed atop the sandalwood royal coffin on the “Jitkathan” – the royal funeral pyre constructed in moveable throne form with a square base – at the Principle Pavilion (the main Busabok) of the Royal Crematorium or Phra Merumas. 


On the evening of October 26, around 5.30pm, the Buddhist cremation ceremony will take place inside the funeral pyre in the presence of the royal family. Flowers made of sandalwood will be piled around the sandalwood Royal Urn by senior officials and those who have been allowed inside to pay their last respects.


The sandalwood Royal Urn and Coffin will then be removed to the Dismantling Halls within the compound. As the evening falls toward 10pm, people ready themselves for the cremation and the lighting of the fire by His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn. 


After the ceremony, the sandalwood Royal Urn and other cremation ceremonial objects will be placed in a museum. The exact location will be announced at a later date. 


Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30328166

-- © Copyright The Nation 2017-10-02

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Crematorium replicas near completion nationwide

By The Nation



(File photo as of October 1): The Royal Crematorium replica being built at Songkhla's Laem Samila area is slated to complete on October 10./Photo by Nation/Santiprap Ramasut


Construction work around the country on replicas of the Royal Crematorium is more than 80 per cent complete.

At some locations, the smaller-scale replicas of the elaborate structure rising in Bangkok’s Sanam Luang will be finished this week and early next week, well ahead of the October 15 deadline set by the government.


At least one replica is being built in every province, giving citizens who cannot attend the funeral in Bangkok a chance to participate in the rites closer to home.


Nine are being built in and around Bangkok.


Volunteers were on Tuesday tidying the construction site around the crematorium replica at Wat Phetch Samut in Samut Songkhram’s Muang district. The structure is expected to be finished on Thursday.


In Phitsanulok, the replica erected at the Somdet Phra Ekkatosaros Military Camp will likely be finished next Tuesday, ready to accommodate up to 50,000 mourners at ceremonies coinciding with the funeral rites in Bangkok.


In Trang, the replica at Thung Chaeng field will be completed on Sunday and a ritual to bless the structure will take place on Monday.


The replicas closely resemble the ornate crematorium being completed at Sanam Luang.


The funeral of His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej is scheduled for October 25-29, with the cremation itself set for October 26.


Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30328339

-- © Copyright The Nation 2017-10-03

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Highest turnout on last day to pay respects before Royal Urn

By The Nation




A total of 110,889 mourners paid their last respects to His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej in the Dusit Maha Prasat Throne Hall of the Grand Palace in Bangkok on Thursday, the final day for public viewing of the Royal Urn, according to the Royal Household Bureau.

The last visitors were admitted into the hall at 2.18am on Friday.


Visitors also made donations worth Bt7 million for the day.


Attendance records were made and repeatedly broken over the past 337 days as people came from all over Thailand to pay their final respects.


Thursday saw the highest turnout of any day, followed by Wednesday (96,150 mourners) and October 1 (90,300 mourners).


In total, 12,739,531 mourners viewed the Royal Urn. Donations received as a form of making merit for the late King have reached Bt889,545,100.01, the Bureau said.


The late monarch’s funeral will be held from October 25-29, with the cremation taking place on October 26.


Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30328604

-- © Copyright The Nation 2017-10-06

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Royal procession rehearsal open to public

By The Nation




Members of the public can watch a rehearsal on Saturday of the elaborate royal procession for HM the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s Royal Cremation Ceremony.

The rehearsal will take place around Sanam Luang. 


Watchers are required to wear polite black clothes and produce their national identification cards at a screening point in the area. 


The following roads will be closed 10pm today : Rajdamnoen Avenue, Sanam Chai Road, Lak Muang Road, Kanlayanamaitree Road, Charoenkrung Road, Phra Pipit Road, Tai Wang Road, Maharaj Road (next to Grand Palace), Maharaj Road (next to Mahathat Temple), Phra Chan Road, Settakarn Road, Chetuphon Road, Phraya Petch Road, Na Phra Lan Road, Na Phra Tat Road, Rajini Road, Phra Arthit Road and Soi Saran Rom. 


The Royal Cremation ceremonies for HM the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej will run from October 25 to 29. 


Major rehearsals for the royal processions will take place tomorrow and on October 15 and 21. 


To facilitate the events, some Bangkok roads will be closed and waterways affected: 


From today at 10pm until tomorrow, road closures include:


Rajdamnoen Avenue, Sanam Chai Road, Lak Muang Road, Kanlayanamaitree Road, Charoenkrung Road, Phra Pipit Road, Tai Wang Road, Maharaj Road (next to the Grand Palace), Maharaj Road (next to Mahathat Temple), Phra Chan Road, Settakarn Road, Chetuphon Road, Phraya Petch Road, Na Phra Lan Road, Na Phra Tat Road, Rajini Road, Phra Arthit Road and Soi Saranrom.


From October 25 to 29, the following roads will be off limits to vehicles: 


Rajdamnoen Nai Avenue, Sanam Chai Road, Lak Mueang Road, Kanlayanamaitree Road, Charoenkrung Road, Phra Pipit Road, Tai Wang Road, Maharaj Road, Phra Chan Road, Settakarn Road, Chetuphon Road, Phraya Petch Road, Na Phra Lan Road, Na Phra Tat Road, Rajinee Road, Phra Arthit Road and Soi Saranrom. 


On October 25 from noon to 9pm, October 26 from 6am to 11pm, and October 27 from 8am to 2pm:


Boat traffic will be suspended in areas north of the Krung Thon Bridge and areas south of the King Taksin Bridge.


No maritime cargo ships will be allowed except for government vessels.


Chao Phraya Express Boats will not stop at Tha Chang, Phra Arthit or Rajini piers. 


Ferry services will also be suspended at the Phra Chan Nuea, Maharaj and Tha Chang piers. 


Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/breakingnews/30328620

-- © Copyright The Nation 2017-10-06

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Viewing areas to open day before Royal Cremation




Scaffolding is being removed from the Royal Crematorium, which is almost finished. The Royal Cremation Ceremonies for HM the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej will run from October 25 to 29.


PEOPLE who wish to witness first-hand the grand processions in honour of HM the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej on the day of his Royal Cremation will probably have to move into designated areas at least one day in advance.

Prime areas for mourners will be able to accommodate only about 40,000 people, and officials will start allowing people to occupy positions at 5am on October 25. 


The royal processions will take place the next day, moving from the Grand Palace to the Royal Crematorium in the Sanam Luang area. 


Other people can watch the solemn royal processions on TV, as the Television Pool of Thailand will broadcast the event live. Members of the mass media are not allowed to broadcast the royal ceremonies via Facebook Live. But people at the event may use the social-media features if their signal is good enough amid the crowds. 


The Royal Cremation ceremonies will run from October 25 to 29. The actual cremation will take place on October 26, which has been declared a national holiday.




The late monarch passed away on October 13 last year, after seven decades on the throne. To the Thai people, his passing was an historic loss, as he had been the beloved paternal and unifying figure of the nation. 


Royal Funeral and Cremation ceremonies, therefore, have a high importance and great significance for the country. More than 12 million people, or about one-fifth of the population, have been to the Grand Palace during the past year to pay respects before his Royal Urn. 


Government Spokesman Lt-General Sansern Kaewkamnerd said yesterday that people could reserve spots at prime areas near the processions of the Royal Cremation on a first-come, first-serve basis. 


“The nearby areas can accommodate about 200,000 people. But only about 40,000 in the prime areas will be able to get a glimpse of the royal procession,” he said. 


The areas are the portion of Maharaj Road between the Tha Chang and Tha Tien; the footpath along Maharaj Road from Tha Tien to Chetuphon Intersection; the area in front of the Supreme Court on Rajdamnoen Nai Avenue from the City Pillar Shrine to the Phan Pipop Bridge; and the pavement along the Na Phra That Road from the Phra Chan Intersection to the National Theatre. 



Volunteers assisting with the Royal Cremation Ceremony for His Majesty the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej clean the area around the Grand Palace and Sanam Luang in Bangkok yesterday, decorating with plants and performing other related works. More than 300,000 volunteers applied to assist in eight tasks for the event. The tasks include |making cremation flowers, helping with public relations, construction, transportation, public services, |medical services, security and traffic control.


While waiting, people cannot use tents or mats to lie down. “Bring along food, water and smelling salt as preparations,” Sansern said. 


He said officials at the screening entry point would constantly check the number of people in the area near the venue so as to update others as to how far they could go. 


“This way, people can decide whether they will try to get as close to the venues as possible. Or they can go to one of the replicas of the Royal Crematorium and pay respects to the late King there instead,” he said. 


There are 76 replicas of the Royal Crematorium across the country. This is in addition to the arches provided for sandalwood flowers to pay final respects to the late King. 


Giant screens will be installed in the area near the arches and replicas so people can watch what is going on in the actual venue of the Royal Cremation ceremonies. 


Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30328891

-- © Copyright The Nation 2017-10-10

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Diplomats from 65 countries visit Royal crematorium

By Thai PBS




Bangkok-based envoys from 65 countries paid a visit to the site of the Royal crematorium at Sanam Luang on Wednesday (Oct 11) at the invitation of the Ministry of Culture.


The diplomats observed the construction of the Royal pyre, Royal carriages and decorations related to the Royal cremation with M.R. Chakkarot Chitrapong, former culture permanent secretary, and Mrs Savitree Suwansathit, an advisor of the Culture Ministry, giving briefings to the envoys.


Culture Minister Veera Rotepojanarat said the invitation for the envoys to observe preparations of the Royal cremation for late King Bhumibol Adulyadej was intended to enable them to learn about the Royal ceremonies and tradition regarding the Royal cremation so that they can relate them back to their governments.


Full story: http://englishnews.thaipbs.or.th/diplomats-65-countries-visit-royal-crematorium/

-- © Copyright Thai PBS 2017-10-12

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Royal Crematorium replicas set up nationwide





MOURNERS who cannot attend the Royal Cremation ceremonies in Bangkok’s Sanam Luang area can place sandalwood flowers at designated venues across the country on October 26 to pay a final farewell to the much-revered HM the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej.

Replicas of the grand Royal Crematorium have already gone up in every province in Thailand to ensure that people could show their respects to the country’s most beloved paternal figure and one of the greatest Thai Kings on the day of his actual cremation.


“For example, there are seven such replicas in the capital,” Bangkok Metropolitan Administration (BMA) executive Suthipa Nachoren said yesterday. 


The replicas will be open to mourners to place sandalwood flowers in honour of the late King from 9am on October 26. Then there will be an hours-long break at about the time that HM King Maha Vajiralongkorn – the only son of the late monarch – arrives at the Royal Crematorium to perform rituals related to the ceremonies. 


“Sandalwood flowers can be placed again at about 6pm,” Suthipa said. 


As many as 61 million sandalwood flowers will be royally provided for people across the country. 


People must wear appropriate clothes and court shoes to enter the grounds of the Royal Crematorium replicas. 


Giant screens will be erected to ensure participants can see the live broadcast of the Royal Cremation ceremonies while waiting to place sandalwood flowers at each location.


Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/national/30329151

-- © Copyright The Nation 2017-10-13

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Thai hotels booked up ahead of funeral of revered king



Officials take part during a funeral rehearsal for late Thailand's King Bhumibol Adulyadej at the Royal Crematorium near the Grand Palace in Bangkok, Thailand, October 15, 2017. REUTERS/Kerek Wongsa


BANGKOK (Reuters) - Hotels in Bangkok's bustling old town, home to a backpacker enclave favoured by foreign tourists, are booked up as Thailand prepares to host the lavish funeral of its revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej next week, the hotel association said on Monday.


The funeral of King Bhumibol, who died on Oct. 13 last year after seven decades on the throne, will run for five days next week, with most events centering on the Grand Palace and Sanam Luang, a public square in the historic quarter.


About 250,000 mourners are expected to attend the funeral, which will feature gold-tipped pavilions built for the occasion, and Oct. 26, the day of the cremation, has been declared a national holiday.


"Many Thais wishing to attend the cremation feel it would be more convenient having a place to stay nearby, so most hotels have been booked out already," Supawan Tanomkieatipume, president of the Thai Hotels Association, told Reuters.


A Reuters survey of three hotels on the Khao San Road, the main artery of the Banglamphu backpacker area, found no rooms were available.


"We are fully booked during the royal cremation," said Preechaya Amngeun, 23, a guest services agent at the Ibis Styles Bangkok Khaosan Viengtai, part of French hotel group Accor.


"Around 80 percent of the guests we have are Thais. The other 20 percent are foreign tourists."


Thailand's tourism industry, which accounts for 12 percent of GDP, has been a rare bright spot for an economy that has struggled since a 2014 coup. It has weathered political turbulence and a major natural disaster over the past decade.


(Reporting by Suphanida Thakral; Editing by Amy Sawitta Lefevre and Clarence Fernandez)

-- © Copyright Reuters 2017-10-17

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Ministry says 30 dignitaries confirm attendance of Royal Cremation on December 26

By Thai PBS




The Foreign Ministry says 30 dignitaries have confirmed to attend the Royal Cremation Ceremony of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej on December 26.


Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai said on Tuesday (Oct 17) that the list of dignitaries attending the Royal Cremation is not yet final but so far 30 have confirmed to attend the Royal Cremation Ceremony on December 26.


He said however that there might be more attendance by dignitaries.


Full story: http://englishnews.thaipbs.or.th/ministry-says-30-dignitaries-confirm-attendance-royal-cremation-december-26/

-- © Copyright Thai PBS 2017-10-17

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Schedule for the Royal Cremation Ceremony  

By Thai PBS




The Royal Cremation of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej is scheduled for 25-29 October 2017.


Thursday, 26 October, will be the Royal Cremation Day, and it has been declared a public holiday by the Cabinet to allow the people to take part in paying a final tribute to His Majesty the late King. The process of the Royal Cremation will last five days.


According to the Committee on Public Relations for the Royal Cremation of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej, the schedule for the Royal Cremation Ceremony is as follow:


♦ Wednesday 25 October 19, 2017

5.30pm: A royal merit-making ceremony is held at Dusit Maha Prasad Throne Hall in the Grand Palace, in preparation for moving the Royal Urn to the Royal Crematorium at Sanam Luang ceremonial ground.


♦ Thursday 26 October, 2017

7am: The Royal Urn is moved from Dusit Maha Prasad Throne Hall to the Royal Crematorium.


Full story: http://englishnews.thaipbs.or.th/schedule-royal-cremation-ceremony/

-- © Copyright Thai PBS 2017-10-19

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Public invited to visit Royal Crematorium in November

By The Nation



File photo


People will be able to visit the elaborately constructed and decorated Royal Crematorium between November 2 and 30.


The grand structure, which will be removed following the Royal Cremation of HM the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, will be open for members of the public from 7am to 10pm. 


HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn will preside over the opening of the Royal Crematorium to the public in a ceremony on November 2, Deputy Prime Minister General Tanasak Patimapragorn announced on Friday. 


He said the Royal Crematorium is immaculately built and completely free from scratches because all those involved in its making dedicated themselves to creating the perfect structure as a way to give back to the late King though a proper farewell.


The late king had reigned over Thailand for seven full decades.


Known for remarkable devotion to his people, he was a much-revered paternal figure of the country. 


Source: http://www.nationmultimedia.com/detail/breakingnews/30329746

-- © Copyright The Nation 2017-10-20

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BANGKOK 20 March 2018 18:45